How to Maximize the Off-Roading Capabilities of Your Jeep

October 20th, 2016 by

off-roadingIf you own a Jeep, you know it’s capable of going off road and handling grass, mud, gravel, and other unpaved surfaces. There are strategies for boosting suspension travel and maximizing your Jeep’s off-roading prowess. For anyone who’s planning to do some serious adventure driving, here’s advice on how to maximize your Jeep’s capacity for handling rough terrain.

Use Sway Bar Disconnects

Your Jeep’s sway bar is a critical component because it limits the flexibility of the axle. As a result, it enhances stability and safety on normal road surfaces. When you go off pavement, the sway bar can hinder your Jeep’s ability to handle big rocks, for example. That’s why many drivers choose to increase the axle’s flexibility by disconnecting the sway bar before they tackle uneven or rocky terrain.

With more flexibility, also called articulation, you enhance the Jeep’s ability to keep its treads on the ground, even when it’s extremely uneven. With more tread touching the surface, the Jeep has more traction, enabling it to climb over massive rocks and maneuver over rough areas while keeping you safe. Some models of the Wrangler Rubicon have built-in sway bar disconnects. If yours doesn’t, you can buy aftermarket sway bar disconnects.

Check Your Shock Size

If you don’t have the right size shocks, your axles may have limited flex. With shocks that aren’t long enough, your Jeep’s ability to reach down with its tires is limited. Rough terrain could actually tear out your shocks if they’re halting the downward motion of your axle.

While short shocks limit downward movement, shocks that are too long limit upward motion. Over a short period of time, the shocks wear down and you have to replace them. Finding the right size shocks limits wear, enhances off-road performance, and saves you money on replacement shocks.

Get New Tires

If your Jeep’s tires are worn or aren’t appropriate for off-roading, it’s time for an upgrade. Because traction is so important to successful off-roading, it’s important to have tires designed for the terrain over which you want to travel. Tires for sand and gravel don’t work well in mud, and tires for mud do poorly on sand and rock. You may want to talk to your Jeep dealership about the off-road surface and the best tires to handle it.

Resist the temptation to go with larger tires. If your tires are too big for your Jeep, they may rub every time your axle flexes. Likewise, you want to avoid tires that are too small because they can damage your suspension.

Evaluate Your Bump Stops

On your Jeep, the bump stops sit between your chassis and the axles. Having bump stops that are the right size in relation to other components is crucial when you’re going off road. You have to consider your tire size, ground clearance, and shock length and make sure your bump stops are proportional.

Because Jeeps have off-roading capabilities, it’s important that you understand how to use them in a safe manner. By having the right equipment and parts for going off pavement, you enhance your Jeep’s performance and increase your own safety.


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